Gartner Announces Winners of the 2018 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award, EMEA

Gartner has announced the winners of the 2018 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award for financial services in the EMEA region.

The award recognises innovative use of digital-technology-enabled capabilities, products or services to highlight “best in class” financial industry initiatives launched within the past 12 months, and to offer insight about developments in digital innovation.

The finalists presented their case studies during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, which is taking place in Barcelona until Thursday. Deniz Bank was selected as the regional 2018 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award EMEA winner by the attendees at the event. Aksigorta and Israel Discount Bank were also named as award recipients.

Regional Winner:

Deniz Bank — In order to optimise its marketing activities, Deniz Bank launched a neuroscience project. Using technologies such as electroencephalography and eye-tracking, the bank wanted to understand the real needs of the customer and provide matching services. After three months of implementing the findings of the neuroscience project, sales increased by 23 per cent and call centre talk time decreased by 10 per cent. Deniz Bank is now looking to apply neuroscience methods to all product scripts and branches.

Additional Award Recipients:

Aksigorta — For customers, the most critical part of the relationship with an insurer is when they have to make a claim. Aksigorta has developed a customer-centric approach called ClaimsChat, which utilises robotic process automation as well as artificial intelligence (AI) to improve customer satisfaction and significantly speed up claims handling. Claims handled by ClaimsChat have shown to be 30 per cent faster compared to the traditional process. Customers are more satisfied, evidenced by higher ratings and a significant drop in customer phone calls and mail traffic.

Israel Discount Bank — Israel Discount Bank aspired to upgrade its retail banking app while promoting data accessibility and bridging the gap between digital and human assistance, connecting AI-based insight with human-based advice. A total of 350,000 mobile app users benefit from three different layers of customer support. The first layer provides valuable insights and financial tips, based on ongoing AI analysis of the customer’s recent banking data. The second layer consists of the AI-based chatbot “Didi,” which can answer simple questions and uses the collected data to learn more about the user’s preferences and habits. The third layer is an in-app instant messaging platform that allows users to chat with a human banker, transfer documents and get answers to more complex questions. Customer feedback has been very positive, especially regarding the chatbot. Didi was able to answer correctly 90 per cent of more than 200,000 different question variations from customers.


Mashreq Bank — Partnering with a fintech innovator, Mashreq Bank found a way to significantly speed up cheque processing while reducing errors and ditching fraud attempts. It deployed an AI-based vision bot named “Dexter,” which uses unsupervised machine learning algorithms for signature verification, handwriting pattern recognition and fraud prevention. Dexter has a very high success rate. It automates human visual capabilities and is 90-95 per cent more productive than a human processor. Of the more than 50,000 checks processed by Dexter so far, not a single one has been incorrectly processed. Mashreq customers now benefit from fewer incorrect check returns and the bank is able to recognise and stop more fraud attempts through falsified signatures before harm is done.

Nedbank— “Extraordinary Life” is the name of Nedbank’s robo-advisory business, which provides South Africans with a frictionless investment experience. Extraordinary Life uses a smart chatbot to collect client information, after which the robo-advisor calculates the amounts needed for specific goals like education or retirement. Unlike traditional human advisors, Nedbank works with advanced investment algorithms developed with in-house stochastic models with more than one million data points. Nedbank achieved an 83 per cent success rate in client cross-sell from existing clients who had not previously used investment products. Digital onboarding reduced the costs of starting investing by 90 per cent.

Flagstone Investment Management — Flagstone Investment Management developed a simple and secure online cash deposit platform to help UK consumers spread their savings more smartly across banks, earn more interest income and diversify risks. Clients can set their preferences for duration, type of account, currency, deposit amount and bank, then see the more than 450 available accounts ranked by interest rate and the provider’s “strength.” Flagstone’s scoring methodology analyses all the banks on a like-for-like basis and allows clients to assess credit strength in a clear and transparent way. Before coming to Flagstone, most clients were earning between 0 per cent and 0.1 per cent on their cash deposits. On average, clients increased their interest to more than 0.8 per cent, typically generating eight times more interest income. 

CaixaBank— imaginBank is the mobile banking solution of CaixaBank, aimed at young customers. In order to gain the trust of the target group and change their perception of banking institutions, the bank launched imaginCafé. The idea was to have a physical centre to host events that would interest young people. The physical experience would then transfer to a digital space with accounts on social networks and live streaming of events. Although the imaginCafé offer is universal, it still requires membership, which helps the bank build a valuable database of young people who can become imaginBank clients. After seven months, the centre counted between 800 and 1,000 daily visitors, 53,000 followers on social media and more than 140,000 visits to the website.

Eurobank Ergasias — Eurobank Ergasias deployed a bimodal operational model to set up a digital factory with the aim to develop a completely new digital platform that offers a seamless user experience for all digital channels. The new digital platform now consolidates e-banking, mobile banking and ATMs. It offers the upload of legal documents digitally and a video banking channel that allows for real-time interaction between customers and bank staff. Furthermore, the bank uses an API sandbox to partner with third-party organisations and design even more digital products and services. Since Eurobank Ergasias has used the bimodal model, the development time for new digital products has decreased significantly, from 30 to 8 weeks.

SIBS — MB Challenge is a loyalty and gamification feature that rewards usage and share of MB WAY, the mobile app of SIBS’ main brand, Multibanco. MB Challenge rewards its users for actions such as making a purchase, or a transfer with MB WAY, or inviting friends. Retailers can promote their products by sponsoring the prizes that are handed out to the players with the highest score. Players are also encouraged to endorse MB Challenge on social media, enabling nonusers to get in touch with the brand and see their friends using it.  As a result, nonusers gain confidence in the app as well as mobile payments, and are more likely to install it. During its first year, MB Challenge grew to over 150,000 players. Alongside other initiatives, MB Challenge acquired half a million new users, from July 2017 through July 2018.  

Award submissions were assessed using a robust and dynamic framework to ensure that the assessment process was pertinent and objective. The Gartner Awards Framework (GAF) is utilised as a structured model of assessment that enables the participating organisations to be benchmarked against world-class performance standards. The GAF consists of specialised assessment modules pertaining to the evaluation criteria for each of the submissions. The criteria and subcriteria provide a robust set of requirements that are used as the methodology for benchmarking and learning among the participating organisations.

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